CAPE TOWN Sunny. Mild.

7 day
  • Thursday 16-21°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Friday 16-24°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Saturday 15-20°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Sunday 15-18°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Monday 15-20°c More sun than clouds. Mild. More sun than clouds. Mild.
    Tuesday 15-23°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
More News

Social media not a guaranteed vote winner

2014-04-16 09:36
Cape Town - As the national general elections draw closer, it remains unclear whether the effort political parties are putting into social media marketing will make a difference.

"Parties have definitely accelerated their social media use in the election period. Although whether or not this translates into influence on voting patterns is unclear," social media consultant for Afrosocialmedia Samantha Fleming told News24.

The Democratic Alliance was an early adopter of social media in its political messaging; the ruling African National Congress has jumped on the channel, particularly as it looks to win in the Western Cape.

On Twitter, the DA has around 73 000 followers, but that is dwarfed by the ANC at 112 000. Newcomer AgangSA has 44 900 followers, but has not shied away from taking shots at political rivals.

"You don't owe it to Mandela to keep voting for ANC. You owe it to yourself and future generations to #VoteAgangSAInstead #Future," the party recently tweeted.


Despite the fact that the Economic Freedom Fighters party has only around 41 000 followers, party leader Julius Malema is one of the most popular South Africans with 438 000 followers.

"I do find it interesting that Malema's Twitter account has over 400 000 followers, while ANC only just over 100 000. Are we to assume that there are more Malema than ANC followers on Twitter? Or that disillusionment with the ruling party is forcing people to consider other options?" said Fleming.

On Facebook, the DA has been racking up likes - more than doubling its tally in three months to 85 541, while the ANC tails it at 62 017. AgangSA has 35 305, the EFF 7 277, and Cope 2 576 likes.

For comparison, News24 has 310 899 likes on Facebook.

Fleming said that political parties in SA have not yet learnt to exploit social media as a channel to engage voters.

"The kind of political debates seen on SA social media are not very nuanced. Political parties still tend to use platforms as a 'push mechanism' for talking about how marvellous they are, rather than engaging in substantive debate about different policies."

The DA's Facebook page has an "Ask Helen" section where people can question party leader Helen Zille about the manifesto.

By contrast, the ANC page on Facebook does not have unique branding and features Mosiuoa Lekota - the president of opposition party Cope, which itself has only 1 773 likes on the social network. The MyANC Facebook page has 121 000 likes.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on: cope  |  da  |  anc  |  eff  |  social networks  |  elections 2014

More In This Category
IEC announces by-election date

The IEC has announced a date for municipal ward by-elections.

ANC Limpopo urges party to rebuild, dismisses early conference talk

The ANC in Limpopo has vowed to reform itself and has urged branches to focus on rebuilding instead of holding an early special conference or consultative conference.

3 more arrests for slain DA councillor, partner

Three more people have appeared in court in connection with the murders of DA councillor Johannes Baatjies and his business partner, the Northern Cape Hawks have said.

ANC 'colluding' MEC in hung councils hits back at IFP

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has hit back at the Inkatha Freedom Party which has accused her of working with the ANC to stall processes in hung municipalities.

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
News24 |   OLX  |  PROPERTY24  |  CAREERS24  |  SPREE  |